Tea Party Shower

In our family we like to keep our babies’ gender a surprise until after they are born; just as nature intended it. For this reason we often wait until after the baby is born, and throw a combined baby shower and “meet the baby party.” My sister-in-law recently had a baby girl; they named her Lilja, which means Lily in Gaelic. I was asked to help with the baby shower and graciously accepted. I’d been waiting for the opportunity to host a girly tea party for someone and this being my sister in law’s first girl, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity. After convening with my co-hostesses, I got the green light and was put in charge of the cupcake tower and decorations. Since our beautiful new addition was named after a flower, we decided that the tea party should have a floral theme as well. I decorated the cupcake tower with pink, yellow and lavender paper, white tulle and pink and yellow bows, then started planning the cupcakes. Fondant flowers, heaps of fluffy buttercream and colored baking cups danced around in my head. I couldn’t wait to get started! After a quick trip to the store for some special ingredients and a box of allergen free cake mix for my cousin and her daughter, I was off to work on a very special baking and decorating adventure. It was so much fun! Check out how the party turned out!

Cupcakes with buttercream frosting and fondant Calla Lilies and Gluten and Dairy Free chocolate cupcakes with glistening pink flowers and rainbow dot sprinkles.

For the top of the tower I made a tiny layered cake and decorated it like a giant cupcake.

;

And another view.

Cupcakes, cupcakes, cupcakes!!!

ok, just one more view. Can you tell I was really proud of this one?

The whole sha-bang!

I didn't make this diaper cake, but it was so darling, I had to share it with you. This is Grandma's first diaper cake! Didn't she do great!?

Cake pops tutorial

Easter egg, chick and bunny cake pops! They were a hit with both the kids and adults.

Cake Pop Tutorial
(as per my interpretation of Bakerella’s video tutorial)
Ingredients:
One box of your favorite cake mix or your own favorite cake recipe.
One can of your favorite frosting
1-2 bags of candy melts (or chocolate chips and 2-3 TBLS cooking oil mixed)
Cake decorations of your choice

Tools and Supplies
Mixing bowls (one microwave safe bowl)
13×9 cake pan
Parchment paper
Cookie sheet
Lollipop sticks
Styrofoam block for standing pops in once complete.
Decorating accessories of your choice. I used Wilton Decorating Frosting and decorator tips.

Directions:
1. Prepare cake and bake in 9×13 or larger pan.
2. Allow to cool.
3. Cut cake in quarters. Working with one quarter at a time, break in half and rub halves together over large mixing bowl to crumble. I found it best to have small crumbles, and wonder if this may even work better if you let the cake set overnight uncovered befor crumbling.
4. Once cake is crumbled, add Prepared frosting starting with about half the can, adding more as necessary until you get a nice soft doughy consistency. (Think something between refrigerator cookie dough and regular cookie dough.)
5. Roll dough into balls (or egg shapes for Easter egg pops) and place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Allow to refrigerate at least an hour to set up befor skewering.
6. Once cake balls are set up. Melt your candy melts in the microwave 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until melted. Working quickly, dip tip of lolli about 1/2 inch into melted candy or chocolate, push tip 1/2 way into ball, then dip ball into melts, coating completely. Allow the excess to drip off into the bowl, rolling the pop back and forth between your finger tips. Then push other end of stick into styrofoam block and allow to set until hardened.
7. If you plan on piping, let the candy harden first. If you want to sprinkle them with sprinkles or colored sugar, you will need to do that before the melts set up completely.
Presentation: I let mine sit over night then placed small cellophane bags over them and tied it with curly ribbon to make them a little more fancy. I also wrapped my block in brightly covered wrapping paper for a nice table presentation.

Pop! Goes the Easter Bunny

Easter Cake Pops

My mother in law hosted a huge Easter celebration this year, and I knew there would be lots of kids, so I wanted to make something fun and special for the kids to take home, and really, what is more fun than cake on a stick?! I mean you can put any food on a stick and it instantly becomes more fun and enticing. Ice cream, hot dogs, even vegetables! I’m sure many of you have seen the cake pops that Bakerella is popular for making. If you haven’t heard of her, I’ll just tell you, I don’t know if she is the one who came up with the idea of putting cake on a stick, but she has definitely mastered it! I watched her video on how she makes her cake pops, and decided “This looks simple enough. I’ll just whip some up for Easter!”

Well… let’s just say, “she makes it look easier than it is.” I’m no Bakerella, but I think I did a pretty decent job considering. Check out the pics below and if you feel inspired, check out the recipe here. Please share with me if you have experience making cake pops and if so, what you have learned. I think the most important lesson I learned is that refrigeration is key! The cake balls really need to set up before moving forward. Anyway, enjoy the pictures and give them a try!

Easter egg, chick and bunny cake pops! They were a hit with both the kids and adults.

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Aunt Carolyn’s Rum Cake

My mom made this heavenly Rum Cake for our family on New Years Day. It was so fluffy, yet rich, and slightly gooey all at the same time. I couldn’t stop eating it. I hate to admit it, but I probably ate half of that cake myself.

This recipe was given to my mom by my Aunt Carolyn at their Sister’s Tea and Cookie Exchange. My mom is one of nine surviving siblings; three men and six women. All of the sisters get together for a Tea and Cookie Exchange every December. They exchange cookies and homemade gifts. This year they exchanged recipes as well. This is the Rum Cake Recipe my Aunt Carolyn contributed. Thanks Mom and Aunt Carolyn!

Classic Bacardi Rum Cake

Cake Ingredients:
1 cup chopped pecans
1 box (18 1/2 oz) yellow cake mix
1 pkg (3 3/4 oz) Vanilla Instant Pudding and Pie Filling
4 eggs
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup cooking oil
1/2 cup Bacardi dark rum (80 proof)

Glaze Ingredients:
1/4 lb butter
1/4 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup Bacardi dark rum (80 proof)

Cake Directions:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour 10″ tube
or 12-cup Bundt pan. Sprinkle nuts over bottom of pan.
Mix all cake ingredients together. Pour batter over nuts.
Bake 1 hour. Cool. Invert on serving plate. Prick top.
Drizzle and smooth glaze evenly over top and sides.
Allow cake to absorb glaze. Repeat till glaze is used up.

Glaze Directions:
Melt butter in saucepan. Stir in water and sugar. Boil 5 minutes,
stirring constantly. Remove form heat. Stir in rum.

Optional Serving Suggestions:
Decorate with whole maraschino cherries and border of sugar frosting or whipped cream.
Serve with seedless green grapes dusted with powdered sugar, and a cup of coffee with coffee liquor and cream.

 

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